Why Realtors and Real Estate Agents Are Not Equal

I took a Code of Ethics class last week which is required of all members of the National Association of Realtors (NAR).  While suffering through three hours of dry material, I was reminded of a pet peeve. I’m a REAL-TOR. Not a Real-I-Tor.
Yeah, yeah. I know. Everybody says “Real-I-Tor”; not just folks with Minnesota accents as thick as Marge Gunderson’s. I don’t know where it came from, I only know we don’t all say “Doc-I-Tor”, so it must not be a result of a consonant followed by “tor”.
While the mispronunciation is only a minor nuisance, I do want to offer the following clarification: not every real estate agent is a Realtor.
For an agent to use the title Realtor; a word which is, in fact, trademarked, an agent must be a member of NAR and adhere to that organization’s Code of Ethics. The code is a set of guidelines originally implemented in 1913 to establish a professional standard of conduct among members. The code governs a Realtor’s Duties to Clients and Customers, the Public, and other Realtors, creating the highest ethical standards for agents in any transaction. Real estate agents who are not members of NAR are not held to the same high ethical standards and rules of conduct, nor the organization’s measures for enforcement.
The next time you need help with a real estate transaction, be sure to ask your agent whether he or she is a Realtor.